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Soccer-Not invincible but Arsenal show no signs of faltering

Reuters

By Robert Woodward

LONDON, Jan 18 (Reuters) - Manager Arsene Wenger was not quite accurate when he said Arsenal's season was their best ever after 22 Premier League games played but he was not far off the mark.

The Gunners are top with 51 points, only one fewer than The Invincibles of 2003-04 at the same stage, and with each win a first title since that remarkable unbeaten season edges closer.

Manchester City and Chelsea pose formidable threats but Arsenal have been going about their business in clinical fashion, as they did in a 2-0 win against Fulham on Saturday that kept them a point ahead of free-scoring City.

Arsenal were not at their fluent best but the squad has found the handy knack of sharing the goals around.

Santi Cazorla scored both on Saturday, his first in the league since early November, and Wenger said the Spanish international midfielder's form is a major boost.

"Santi was out for a long time at the start of the season but recently he has come back to his best," Wenger said of the former Malaga player whose season was disrupted by injury in September and October.

"In the final third he is one of those players who can create something special with his final pass or his finishing."

CONSISTENCY KEY

So far Arsenal have avoided the loss of form that has blighted their previous title challenges and Wenger said consistency was key if they were to stay the course.

"We have 22 games, 51 points, and if you compare that to any other season it is one of the best, if not the best ever," Wenger told reporters. "So let's continue.

"We have a good solidarity in the group. I'm happy with the performance of the team, we have been remarkably consistent and don't forget we had a very difficult start," he added, referring to a 3-1 home loss to Aston Villa in their first game.

"We have shown all sorts of ingredients technically to respond to what happened to us at the start of the season."

Wenger was again asked whether he would be dipping into the transfer market but the Frenchman gave little away.

"I would love to announce something that would excite you, and me, but I don't have the possibility to do it," he said, playing down media reports that he had been seen with the agent of Juventus striker Mirko Vucinic.

"We are looking at potential possibilities for us to get someone in, but we are not especially in for Vucinic.

"Some people have visual capacities that I don't have." (Writing by Martyn Herman; Editing by Josh Reich)

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